Go and collect your PVC. INEC won’t bring them to you. Your vote is your power.
The lead-up to the general elections in 2023 has proven to be unique. The youth have stepped to the front of the effort to free Nigeria from corrupt, ineffective, and visionless leadership at all levels for the first time since the restoration of our democracy.
The young people who have previously served as the woodcutters and water draws for the selfish political buccaneers now want to set the pace for the general elections in 2023. They have so far shown this commitment by running campaigns for widespread registration of Permanent Voter’s Cards, or PVCs.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC’s, Continued Registration, CVR, exercise, which started in June 2021, was largely ignored. But new dynamics within the various political parties woke up the youth. They invaded the registration centers in unprecedented numbers. INEC had to extend its registration deadline from June 30 to July 31, 2022.
On Monday, August 1, 2022, the Commission came out with the following figures. The number of fresh registrants during the youth rush was 10,489,972. Completed registration stood at 12,298,944. It was further broken down to: Male – 6,074,078; Female – 6,224,866; Persons Living with Disability: 87,083 and Youths: 8,784,677. This brings the total number of registered voters in Nigeria to 96.2 million.
Experience has, however, shown that more people register than collect their PVCs. On June 13, 2022, INEC lamented that there were over 20 million unclaimed voter’s cards in its offices nationwide. That is more than enough to elect a president, going by previous electoral figures. Lagos alone has over 1.12 million uncollected cards, which is more than the total figure cast during the 2019 governorship election in the state.
The maximum collection of voter’s cards and turnouts to vote on election day are crucial in determining the democratic outcomes of elections. Nigerian democracy is suffering from the double apathy of voter’s card collection and turnout to vote.
INEC has issued a schedule for the collection of the newly-produced voter’s cards. All PVCs registered from June 2021 to January 15 are now available at local government councils. The cards of those registered between January 16, 2022 and June 30, 2022 will be ready in October, while those registered in July should expect their cards in November 2022.
Go and Collect Your PVC
The journey to take back Nigeria has only been one-third done. The bigger tasks are to collect the cards and vote. Nigerian voters must finish the good work they started. The effort to elect good leaders is not a tea party. It is a struggle of the peaceful kind. It is fought with granite determination. Abandoning our PVCs at INEC offices will give the ever-plotting politicians the chance to undermine our popular choices.